I've been thinking of ways to help explain different topics and rationales to patients. I like to use metaphors or analogies to help create a picture for my patient.
For example, when teaching about how hypertension can lead to renal failure, I might say,
"Think of the tiny blood vessels in your kidneys as the delicate strands of silk in a beautiful scarf. If you washed that scarf gently under a low-pressure faucet, it would last a long time. This is like the gentle movement of blood with a healthy blood pressure. But if you washed that delicate scarf with a fire hose, the tiny threads would be damaged over time and the scarf would be ruined. This is like the forceful movement of blood through the vessels in someone with high blood pressure. Your kidneys have a lot of tiny, delicate vessels and if they get damaged, the kidney will no longer work properly".
I would love to read some of the metaphors that you all use in patient teaching. I'm especially interested in analogies of metaphors for difficult topics. Thank you for anything you share! :-)